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Best Christmas shows and pantomimes in London

Discover some of the best Christmas theatre London has to offer over the festive season.
A person breathing fire into the air during a performance of La Clique.
La Clique at Christmas in Leicester Square. Image courtesy of DGPR.

There are lots of magical London Christmas shows to enjoy in December and over the holiday season, from Christmas pantomimes and festive ballets, to spectacular Christmas theatre productions and the latest West End shows. 

Book ahead for the best Christmas shows in London below.

Christmas shows to book now 

1. Circus 1903 at the Southbank Centre

Be amazed by jaw-dropping stunts and incredible acrobatics as Circus 1903 returns to the Southbank Centre this Christmas. This must-see circus show transports you to the turn of the 20th century and includes high-wire acts, trapeze artists, life-size elephant puppets and more. 16 Dec-2 Jan. Book Circus 1903 tickets now

2. The Nutcracker at The London Coliseum

A ballet dancer in a beautiful white dress stands in the middle of a snowy forest holding a nutcracker doll out in front of her.

More than 100 ballet dancers and musicians bring Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to life on the London Coliseum stage this Christmas. Marking its annual return, this classic show sees Clara and her Nutcracker doll go on a magical adventure where they meet all sorts of characters. 16 Dec-8 Jan. Book The Nutcracker tickets now

3. Potted Panto at The Garrick Theatre

Can’t choose which panto to see this year? Why not see them all with Potted Panto, a whistle-stop tour through seven classics, at The Garrick Theatre! Meet much-loved characters, from Aladdin to Cinderella and Dick Whittington, in this limited-run show. 11 Dec-9 Jan. Book Potted Panto tickets now

4. Dick Whittington at Phoenix Theatre

Discover a new take on the Dick Whittington pantomime at the Phoenix Theatre, where the classic tale is literally dragged into the 21st century by TuckShop’s fabulously festive all-drag cast. Will Dick succeed in his quest to find fame, or will Queen Rat get in his way? 5 Dec-9 Jan. Book Dick Whittington tickets now

5. A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story at Alexandra Palace

Charles Dickens’ classic story is given a creepy twist at Alexandra Palace this Christmas, with A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story. Find bone-chilling special effects in this scary retelling by Mark Gatiss, who leads the cast as Jacob Marley. 26 Nov-9 Jan. Book A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story tickets now 

6. Stick Man at the Leicester Square Theatre

The cast and characters of Stick Man on stage under the spotlight

Branch out this Christmas, as Julia Donaldson’s loveable Stick Man is brought to life at the Leicester Square Theatre. Follow his misadventures as he aims to leave the family tree on an adventure full of music, puppetry and dance. 23 Oct-3 Jan. Book Stick Man tickets now

7. Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever at Theatre Royal Haymarket

Join Peppa, George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig on an epic road trip this Christmas. Explore castles and caves, and come face to face with dragons and dinosaurs on Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever at Theatre Royal Haymarket. There are also plenty of muddy puddles along the way, of course, in this song-filled show. 2 Dec-2 Jan. Book Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever tickets now

8. West End Musical Christmas at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

See West End stars perform a host of festive hits with West End Musical Christmas at the Lyric Theatre. Created by the team behind the popular West End Musical Drive In and West End Musical Brunch, this all-singing, all-dancing musical theatre concert is a must. 20 Dec. Book West End Musical Christmas tickets now

9. The Nutcracker on Ice at Alexandra Palace

See a pantomime version of The Nutcracker played out on ice at Alexandra Palace this Christmas. Watch on as Clara attempts to restore order with the help of the Nutcracker Prince, in this show set to Tchaikovsky’s score. 6-12 Dec. Book The Nutcracker on Ice tickets now

Best pantomimes in London

10. Pantoland at the Palladium

The cast of Pantoland at the London Palladium in costume, with a sparkling blue and purple background.

The London Palladium’s annual pantomime returns in 2021, starring Donny Osmond, Julian Clary and more West End stars. Osmond takes on the role of the Wizard of Pantomime in Pantoland, a feast of panto perfection, with song, dance and comedy all rolled into one. 4 Dec-9 Jan

11. Beauty & The Beast at Fairfield Halls

Will a prince find true love in order to reverse a curse that’s made him a beast? Classic fairy-tale Beauty & The Beast is brought to life by TV stars Dick and Dom, and the voice of SuperTed Derek Griffiths, at Fairfield Halls in Croydon. 10 Dec-2 Jan

12. Aladdin at Lyric Hammersmith

Take a magical carpet ride to a faraway land (well, Hammersmith) as Aladdin searches for love and fortune, with a little help from the Genie along the way. This classic pantomime at Lyric Hammersmith features all the usual panto gags, songs and music – oh no it doesn’t… oh yes it does! 19 Nov-2 Jan

13. Jack and the Beanstalk at Hackney Empire

Watch on as Jack tries to tame an out-of-control beanstalk when his magic beans are more than they seem. Will he succeed with the help of Dame Trot? Hackney Empire's hilarious take on much-loved story Jack and the Beanstalk stars panto royalty Clive Rowe as the dame. 20 Nov-2 Jan

14. Red Riding Hood at Theatre Royal Stratford East

Some of the cast of Red Riding Hood at Theatre Royal Startford East.

Panto returns to Theatre Royal Stratford East this winter, with its signature modern-day twist on classic stories. This year sees Red Riding Hood make her way through a deep, dark wood to appear on the east London stage in this comedy-filled performance. 27 Nov-31 Dec

15. The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre

See Raymond Briggs’ timeless children’s story, The Snowman, brought to life on stage this Christmas at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre. Featuring the hit song Walking in the Air, this production combines storytelling, dance, lighting and music for a spellbinding spectacle. 20 Nov-2 Jan

16. Cinderella at Richmond Theatre

Discover how Cinderella’s fate is about to take a magical turn in this classic pantomime at Richmond Theatre. Starring Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke as Buttons, Cinderella combines plenty of panto-style fun with audience participation, from booing the Ugly Sisters to cheering Prince Charming. 3 Dec-2 Jan

Quirky Christmas shows

17. La Clique

Two roller-skating acrobats perform during La Clique, one standing holding hands with the other as she moves thorugh the air.

Step inside the Spiegeltent and be treated to a host of circus, comedy and cabaret acts, as award-winning La Clique returns to Leicester Square. Reworked for 2021 with a new show and acts, this festive showcase includes everything from a sword-swallower to roller-skating acrobats. 13 Nov-8 Jan

18. The Child in the Snow at Wilton’s Music Hall

Be prepared to be spooked as The Child in the Snow makes its debut at Wilton’s Music Hall this Christmas. The world’s oldest surviving grand music hall provides an eerie setting for a spine-tingling retelling of Elizabeth Gaskell’s ghost tale The Old Nurse’s Story. 26 Nov-31 Dec

19. Christmas Carol at Southbank Centre

Two cast members of Tiger Lillies' Christmas Carol, wearing black and white face paint and hats.

Join the Tiger Lillies cabaret group for a dark take on Charles Dickens’ festive tale at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room. Christmas Carol picks the much-loved story apart to shine a light on the darker elements of society, accompanied by cabaret songs and anarchic opera. 14-30 Dec

More must-see Christmas shows

20. The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House

See the Royal Ballet perform Tchaikovsky’s festive masterpiece The Nutcracker on the Royal Opera House stage this Christmas. Peter Wright’s production stays true to the spirit of the original ballet, which is set to the Russian composer’s captivating score. 23 Nov-8 Jan

21. A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic

Cast members, dressed in Victorian clothing, on stage at The Old Vic.

Enjoy a unique production of festive classic A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic. Stephen Mangan leads the cast as Ebenezer Scrooge in this fresh take on Dickens’ tale of compassion, which won five Tony Awards for its Broadway run in 2019. 13 Nov-8 Jan

22. Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker

Follow Clara’s journey from an orphanage to candy-filled Sweetieland in Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker at Sadler’s Wells. Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score and with iconic choreography by Matthew Bourne, this magical show is performed by the New Adventures dance company. 7 Dec-30 Jan

Find more shows and musicals in London this festive season.